Gateshead, Newcastle United & The Cost Of Football

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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3 Responses

  1. Alasdair says:

    I can sympathise with you on this one. As a lifelong (well as long as I can remember, fortunately this includes the 1991-92 title win) Leeds United fan they are always going to be my passion but somewhere around the 2002-03 season I got into supporting Pickering Town and now I do their website and programme.
    The strange thing is I’ve always lived in Leeds, barring a spell at Newcastle Uni ( where incidentally I went to the international stadium and saw Gateshead take apart the Pikes). Pickering is a 100-mile round trip just for a home game. I used to go with a friend who had a car but since he gave it up I’m limited to public transport. Although I think the ticket prices are reasonable anyway (£5-6) I do get in for nothing. It is the cost of travel that has rocketed. Home games cost upwards of £10 on the bus for a nearly 6 hour round trip or I can get the train to Malton (£15+) and then stick another £5 for the bus between the two. All the while in the back of my mind Elland Road, even with its obscene Ken Bates prices, is looming over me for about £7 more. The thing is as well that now I’m a grown up and I get paid real money that £7 isn’t exactly a huge ask every fortnight – it would barely buy me two pints.
    But then I start to feel guilty because I know the people at Pickering, they’re good people, they are friendly people and I really like them. I love the community atmosphere of it all, it’s good to know the ins and outs of something so intimately and it is a warmer, friendlier experience than a Leeds game – almost a sense of what football was like in the “old days” (Billy Bremner on the bus blah blah blah). But, and it is a colossal East Stand sized but, and one you have alluded to above, even if Leeds have just bungled over a grubby little tap in to claw it back to 3-2 and give a just a feint whiff of a late equaliser then nothing in the world can replace that feeling. It is just an instinctive elation that no amount of having a pint with the chairman or sharing a joke with the keeper can come close to – Pickering got to me 16 years too late.
    It’s not even like I am a regular at Elland Road it is just when I can’t afford to go my natural reaction is to think ‘Oh I’ll go see the Pikes’ only to realise they are playing in Winterton and it’s going to cost me about £25 on the train plus I’ve got to figure out how to get there from Hull. So I now live in a world where I just end up not going to see anyone play football on a Saturday. Oh well, might as well watch Blackburn-Stoke on Sky then. How depressingly empty.

  2. Stephen says:

    Got to agree with you regarding the pricing of Gateshead games. I regularly go to watch Whitley Bay and for £5 (last season, £6 this coming season) I see, what I feel, is a similar standard of football to that I would be seeing at Gateshead. As you pointed out the International Stadium is an awful place to watch football and the sooner the club can get their new ground the better.

  3. jabba the gut ecfc says:

    The prices at Gateshead seem very high – especially given that the North-East doesn’t strike me as a particularly expensive area to do business.

    Exeter is one of the most expensive areas outside the South-East, yet our season tickets are roughly the same price for L1 football.

    The benefits of fan ownership, perhaps?

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